Pinellas hazmat teams train to respond to drug and meth labs

Published August 23 2013
Updated August 23 2013

LARGO — Hazardous material teams from throughout Pinellas County gathered Thursday to practice advanced techniques for responding to meth and drug labs, medical emergencies and other hazardous material events.

Pinellas County's hazmat team has 124 members made up of firefighters from Palm Harbor, Largo, Pinellas Park, Seminole and St. Petersburg fire rescue departments. The team handles all hazmat response for the county.

All team members will go through this week's training to get hands-on practice so they will be ready when dangerous or unusual circumstances present themselves. This event is part of a 2½-year rotating training schedule that keeps all team members up to speed.

Pinellas County has partnered with the National Forensic Science Technology Center to use its chemistry expertise and scenario-based training facilities that include real-world-style laboratory setups, props and buildings for a strong training experience.

Trainers from the 48th Civil Support Team of the National Guard were on hand Thursday to assist.